Sweet Potato Apple Casserole

I’m cranky today. Yes it happens to be the week that Aunt what’s her face is visiting. I’m sorry, I don’t know the cute terms for the biological battle that is happening to me. I promise you my blog will not be a production about it – but I thought I’d let you know that I am a MEGA jerkwad today. I’m keeping to myself, or at least, should be. I decided instead of sitting at home watching reruns of tacky reality television while editing photos for a client, I would take my work and go to the Starbucks up the street and at least be surrounded by the shuffles of people and the smells of the outside world (like coffee!). It was a good idea until the sounds of girls chatting over a coffee date made me feel sad that I don’t have many friends down here. Also, I’m sitting down and a father walked by with his baby in his arms, baby butt level to my face and she let one riiiiiiiiiiiiiip. So much for the smells of the outside world. The father walked away laughing – I don’t blame him, I totally would have done the same. If I have kids I’m totally going to train them to fart at people. I will use them as little diversions when I need to get out of  a really boring conversation about daycare or the PTA. My code word will be “le pamplemousse!” and the kid will give a little toot-toot.  It will be fantastic.

In unrelated news to lady-times or farts, I am having a rather odd day. I was finally able to get a job here. Well, a seasonal job. It’s something for now and that’s a prayer answered in itself. Living on the East Coast in no-wheresville USA is a lot different from living on the West Coast big city Canada. No mass transit and living by a major highway means I need a vehicle to get a job. Not having a working or legal vehicle at the moment means I have to apply for jobs that I am able to get to by the little shuttle bus that skadooshes around town. A 3 minute commute to the place I was hired literally turned into a 2 hour production. I have spent the past two months applying to really crappy retail/server jobs around here but none will hire me because I’m –  get this – overqualified.  However a portrait studio finally called me back! How blessed was that? For those of you who do not know: I’m a photographer and I went to school for advanced studio and wedding photography. I will not go into details about what studio called me back, as I try to keep my work and personal life separate. However I wanted to share the good news. My biggest fear was leaving my home in Canada with all my clients and contacts and radio stations and magazines/newspapers I have done work for and start new here – only to be cleaning grease traps and flipping burgers watching as all the hard work I did for years and my career be squashed all in the name of love. I know God is good and he will take care of my husband and I – so why can’t I stop being so anxious about EVERYTHING all the time?

Like I said, it’s a seasonal position for now. She said she wanted to keep me on but hours would be cut drastically come Jan 1st. What ever will be will be. Maybe I will get my jeep fixed and can start applying to jobs in bigger cities with bigger opportunities. Whatever happens I am elated that I am finally employed and will be able to make some money. Immigration costs and moving countries not only wiped out our savings, but sent us into a very deep debt. This is a true blessing and we are VERY thankful.

Speaking of being thankful – Canadian Thanksgiving has passed us, but American Thanksgiving is around the bend. Autumn instills a sense of peace in me. Something about the cold, crisp air mixed with the smells of decaying leaves and warm foods. It’s my favourite season by far. I can’t wait to go to the pumpkin patch again! I am hoping to try out apple picking for the first time in my life as well! I love doing seasonal things – if I had the money I’d be going to these oyster and wine festivals that keep popping up. I thought I’d kick off this wonderful season by showing you a REALLY easy dish made with some great fall foods. Sweet Potato and Apple Cinnamon Bake.

You will need:

2 large sweet potatoes
2 medium-sized apples (I used gala)
1 tbsp of cinnamon (or to your own taste)
2 tbsp of pure cane or brown sugar (or again, to your own taste)
A sprinkle of butter buds

Start by washing your apples and sweet potatoes. I do this even if I’m cutting and peeling them. I don’t know why. Something about the knife slicing into food and bringing the dirt in with it. You don’t have to do this, but I do.. stop judging me! I used the apple core/peeler to slice my apple up then further sliced those pieces into quarters. I peeled and ninja chopped the sweet potato. We have a glass cutting board and I have the hardest time cutting these things. Maybe it’s because my knives aren’t particularly sharp, or maybe I’m just a weakling scared to cut myself. Anyways, there was no rhyme or reason to my cutting… I just chopped away at it until it resembled chunks. I am impressed at the ear shattering noise a knife makes when it hits glass!

Put the apple and sweet potato chunks into a casserole dish, spray with a tiny bit of cooking spray and sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mix over it. I also sprinkled a bit of Butter Buds on to it. For those of you who do not know what Butter Buds are: Butter Buds are produced from real butter through an enzymatic process that releases the flavor components of butter from the fat and water. After the flavor is released, it is then spray-dried to a powder-like form that is encapsulated with a water-soluble coating. The resulting products, Sprinkles and Mix, contain the original flavor of butter without the fat and cholesterol. Butter Buds contains maltodextrin (a natural carbohydrate derived from corn), natural butter flavor (extracted from the butter oils and then dried to a powder-like form), salt, dehydrated butter, guar gum and baking soda.

That is straight from the Butter Buds FAQ’s. I have heard the maltodextrin debate but don’t have much of an opinion. It seems some people have a reaction to it, while others don’t. Generally I like to eat clean, natural foods and avoid adding stuff like this. However we don’t keep butter in the house and I was feeling like it needed a little Paula Deen flavour. It was just a sprinkle and we aren’t dead yet! You can add real butter if you’d like or opt out of it completely!

Cover the casserole dish and bake on 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until soft.

There’s a before in went into oven photo and an after plated photo. It turns so gooey and delicious! I served it with a honey BBQ (boneless/skinless) chicken breast. The flavours boast autumn and people will oooohhh and ahhhh over it. (You can tell them it was sooooooo difficult to make… You slaved over it all day!) I am thinking for Thanksgiving adding some mini marshmallows. Because really, who cares about health foods on Thanksgiving? I say it’s a holiday so stuff your face full of all the treatsies you can get!

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